Easy Amore Spring Pasta

Everyone knows that familiar feeling…it’s 6PM, your stomach is growling, you have no idea what to make for dinner…

An easy option is pasta, but then comes another question…what kind of pasta? Amore has tons of solutions! Our family loves using the Amore herb paste (a tasty mix of fresh herbs in olive oil) to toss the pasta and some freshly sautéed spring veggies! 

The paste is vegan, all natural, and tastes just like fresh herbs! A little goes a long way and adds the perfect light flavor to a pasta dish. A mix of whole grain pasta, herb paste to taste (2 tsp or so), and sautéed asparagus, bell peppers, and yellow summer squash is colorful, flavorful and healthy! 

The perfect side for salmon, or a tasty light dinner on its own!

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What’s your favorite easy go-to dinner?

Chocolate Berry Milkshake (recipe+review)

A recipe that includes the word “milkshake” in the title sets a high bar, but I assure you this will not disappoint!


This is Designer Protein’s newest line of protein, “Native Whey.” This protein is cold filtered from non-GMO, grass-fed milk that has no antibiotics or artificial growth hormones. A lot of whey is a result of the leftover product of cheese-making, but native whey is different and processed at lower temperatures and is not exposed to ingredients involved in the cheese-making process. Native whey also more leucine, a crucial branched chain amino acid, and glutamine that most whey proteins. Leucine is an essential amino acid shown to help in muscle protein synthesis (aka turning that hard work from exercising into muscle) .

Beyond the nutrition, the powder tastes amazing. My mom, who hates the taste of stevia usually, really likes the flavor! That’s a win in my book.  Without further ado, here is the recipe:


Ingredients:
2 cups almond milk or water
1 cup frozen berries
1 scoop Designer Protein Vanilla Milkshake Native Whey
1 tbsp NuNaturals Cocoa Powder 

Combine all ingredients in high powered blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy! For a thicker, more decadent shake, add another tablespoon of cocoa powder. A note on the cocoa powder: NuNaturals is one of my favorites and using a Dutch-processed cocoa is a must to get the same rich flavor!

Use code HANNAH20 for 20% off your order from Designer Protein!

New Bagels on the Block

Growing up, I would often walk to Panera after school and get a cinnamon crunch bagel and I would get hungry again an hour later. Looking back now, I cannot say that I’m surprised. Those gigantic, refined flour, sugar-laden treats are are not exactly a wholesome snack–they pack 430 calories and 32 grams of sugar. That is eight teaspoons of sugar. Now I don’t want to demonize sugar or bagels, but so many of our modern day products have ballooned in size; a plain bagel twenty years ago was about half the size of today’s bagel.

Luckily, not all bagels are created equal and there are some great options out there that pack a great nutritional punch and taste amazing.

Enter: Western Bagel. The brand was generous enough to send me a sample pack of their Perfect 10 line bagels,which comes in Healthy Grain and Everything flavor.

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Curious where the name comes from? Check out the nutrition stats:

 

The bagels have a whopping 19 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber–that’s what I would call a filling, healthy afternoon snack!

 

You can make it sweet with jam (I love Nature’s Hollow)…

 

 

 

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Or savory…

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It goes without saying that my freezer is fully stocked and ready; these are the perfect on-the-go snack for a long day at school or at work.

 

 

Use code “Hannah15” for 15% off your order! Note that you must finish making an account and refresh the page (logged in) before you can apply the code.

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What’s your favorite bagel topping?

Wake Shake Cinnamon Bun Cookies

I recently got the chance to try Super Body Breakthrough Wake Shake (I got cinnamon bun and caramel latte flavors)! Now I love a good protein shake or smoothie bowl, but I was dying to turn the amazing cinnamon bun flavor into a baked good form. I love the shake mix; it is not the typical “protein shake.” The mix provides a great balance of fats, protein, and fiber…we do need more than just protein (check out the linked article to learn more).

I decided to try and make cookies and they turned out perfectly! I love throwing ingredients together and seeing what comes out of the oven. These cookies have the perfect buttery flavor from the grass-fed butter in the Wake Shake mix (yay healthy fats) and the collagen blend is perfect for healthy hair, skin, and nails.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 scoop cinnamon bun Wake Shake 
  2. 1/2 cup NuNaturals Oat fiber (can sub in oat flour)
  3. 1 egg (or 3 tbsp egg whites)
  4. 3-4tsp water
  5. Dash of NuNaturals stevia
  6. 3/4 tsp baking powder
  7. Cinnamon to taste


First, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all dry ingredients and stir until well mixed. Add in wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Drop dough by the tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet. Place in oven for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, turn off the oven and leave the cookies in for 10 more minutes or until the tops are firm to the touch. Enjoy!


These cookies are delicious dipped in peanut butter–don’t blame me if you can’t stop dunking! Use discount code “CH10” for 10% off anything from Super Body Breakthrough!

I haven’t tried the recipe with other mixes, but let me know if you do. I would recommend using a shake blend with a higher fat content to get a similar texture. I hope you enjoy!

Gluten-Free Ginger Pear Bread

I absolutely love a baking challenge. So for this recipe, I noticed we had a ton of Harry and David Christmas season pears sitting around going soft. This got the cogs turning in my head. Plus, I just won a giveaway hosted by Kate and NuNaturals that included a new-to-me flour–organic green banana flour. I also had some leftover “Unpumpkin Pie Spice” from  Raw Spice Bar. If you’re curious, Raw Spice Bar is a spice subscription box that delivers freshly ground spices to your door every month–the mixes have been so much fun to use, plus you can taste the difference when you compare to stale, store-bought spices.

All of the ingredients on hand sounded like a great match so I gave it a shot and was thrilled by the results! A soft, tasty loaf that you would never expect is gluten-free and low in sugar.

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Ingredients:

1/4 c pumpkin
3/4 c nunaturals banana flour
2 eggs
2 medium pears, finely chopped
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
1/4 c packed brown sugar blend
Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Combine wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
3) In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
4) Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and mix until batter is smooth.
5) Pour batter into a greased and floured loaf pan.
6) Bake for 28 minutes or until bread feels firm to the touch
7) Let cool for 10 minutes in pan then flip the bread out onto a cooling rack.
8) Enjoy! This would taste delicious with a dollop of almond butter on top!
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Do you like throwing random combos together? How do you decrease waste in your kitchen?

Easy Meal in Minutes: Huevos Rancheros

Huevos rancheros are one of the easiest quick, healthy meal options in my playbook! Eggs are a great source of protein that have less environmental impact than many other animal proteins, plus they are inexpensive. The longest part of the recipe process is waiting for the oven to preheat!

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I used fresh tomatillos, but feel free to substitute in tomatoes. The tomatillos simply add a nice subtle zesty flavor.

Ingredients:
1 can diced zesty tomatoes
4-5 tomatillos, chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
2 eggs

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  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a cast iron skillet with coconut oil.
  3. Pour can of diced zesty tomatoes into a separate pan on low on the stove.
  4. Add chopped zucchini, bell pepper, and tomatillos to pan and increase to medium heat.
  5. Continue cooking veggie mixture on the stove for 5-7 minutes or until veggies are slightly tender.
  6. Pour tomato-veggie mixture into greased skillet.
  7. Made two slight indents in veggies, and then crack eggs into indents (this keeps eggs in one place so they don’t spread into edges).
  8. Place the skillet in the oven for 15-20min or until eggs do not jiggle when you shake the pan–feel free to take it out a few minutes early if you like runny yolks!
  9. Enjoy!

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My dad even got a little crazy and topped his hues rancheros with some jalapeño cheddar popcorn! Do you ever try crazy toppings? What would you put on your huevos rancheros?

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Find more meatless options in the Meatless Monday Link-Up hosted by Running On Happy!

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Quick Updates, Banana Bread, and a GIVEAWAY! (10/24)

Hi! I am sorry I have been MIA–between classes and work, I’ve been a little distracted from some of my favorite things (like blogging!). If you haven’t seen on my instagram feed, I’m hosting a Detour Bar giveaway:

A photo posted by Hannah (@craving_happy) on

If you want to enter, feel free to head over to my Instagram feed and comment with one thing you love about yourself, or you can comment on this post to enter!

In celebration of the giveaway, I decided to make some banana bread using detour bars! This is a great way to add some chocolate, while also adding a protein punch. This is such a simple recipe and is perfect for busy school-day morning.

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 banana
1/2c applesauce
1.5 cups flour (I recommend a combination of coconut flour, almond flour, and garbanzo bean flour)
1tsp baking powder
1/3 cup almond butter
1 detour bar of choice, chopped into 1in pieces

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit .
  2. Combine banana, apple sauce, eggs, and almond better until smooth in a bowl.
  3. Add flour and baking powder to wet ingredients.
  4. Stir until just combined.
  5. Stir in chopped detour bar.
  6. Pour batter into greased, floured medium bread pan.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.

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Homemade BBQ Sauce and Adventures

I always love adventures…taking a wrong turn, adding in a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon, accidentally signing up for an event…usually these “mistakes” become adventures and memories. Although the memories may not always be completely positive, I find that I learn something every time and usually have some amazing friends along for the ride!

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This is part of why I love cooking; the worst that can happen is one bad dish. Definitely not a horrendous outcome, no matter how horrendous the mistake. These errors also lead to good lessons: 1) always double check if you greased your pan 2) never crack eggs into all of your ingredients (egg shells!) 3) always set the timer for the minimum cook time

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Here is a recipe for one of my experiments that magically came out well! I wander through tons of websites and blogs so this recipe has definitely been influenced from what I have seen in the past, but it was a lot of guessing and testing.

I hope you use this recipe as a base, but make it your own! Add an extra dash of hot sauce, a bit of your favorite spice–have fun with it 🙂

Ingredients:
6 tbsp apple cider vinegar (I like Bragg’s)
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
6 packets stevia (I use NuNaturals)
2 cups stewed, roasted tomatoes
1 tsp liquid smoke (this is a MUST, and I highly recommend it for adding a smoky flavor to any dish)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp of your favorite hot sauce

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  1. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil while stirring continuously.
  2. Once it has boiled, turn off the heat and let cool.
  3. Place mixture in the fridge and use it as you would use regular BBQ sauce! Enjoy!

 

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Why a detox? (+ giveaway!)

In addition to participating in the #SparklingDetox, there is also a chance for you to win free Gerolsteiner water by entering this giveaway: bit.ly/SparklingDetox . I would love for you to join me during this detox from September 12-16! I have been looking for a opportunity reason to cut out caffeine from my diet to see how my body responds, but it has been a hard change to implement. I always joke that caffeine is my one vice in life, which is true, but I am curious how I would cope without it. In the past, I had headaches when attempting to cut back on caffeinated beverages, but I’ve definitely decreased my consumption since then.

When making changes like this, I think it is far more important to think about what you are adding to your life rather than what you are giving up. Sure, I am giving up caffeine, but I am adding a hydrating, nutrient-packed beverage! I have been on-the-go, on the road, and in the air all summer long, which has prompted me to ditch some of my usual routine. I have tried to get some form of physical activity everyday, but I have been far from consistent! With the lack of regularity in my workout schedule, my muscles have been feeling more sore than ever.

Magnesium is crucial for healthy nerve function and muscles, plus there is some evidence that is helps with fatigue and mood. In the past, I have taken magnesium pill supplements, but magnesium has increased bioavailability (i.e. the body can absorb more) when it is consumed in liquid form. On top of the health benefits, drinking mineral water is FAR more enjoyable than taking a huge magnesium pill!

My favorite way to enjoy is pouring a bottle over ice with a squeeze of lemon. I am planning to also add some fresh mint and a dash of stevia to create a faux-jito, which I tested out the other day with great success (see recipe below). How do you drink your mineral water? Do you look at it as simply a beverage, or also as a nutritional supplement of sorts?

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Faux-jito for one:
Combine one sprig of mint, 5-10 drops of stevia, 1-2 tsp lime juice, and 8oz of Gerolsteiner sparkling water in a glass and enjoy!

A Little Lovin’: Life Lessons in Amore

Amore Brand sent me an amazing gift package to sample some of their new (and old) products:

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Look at all those goodies! Pasta, pastes, a water bottle, even a portable charger–a huge thank you to Amore for their generosity.  I am pretty picky when it comes to savory foods and tend to opt for high quality options and strong flavors, so I held these products to a high bar. All of their products are made in Italy with only high quality ingredients and the pastas and pastes are all vegan!

Tomato paste: fresh, delicious, natural. This tomato paste goes ABOVE and BEYOND the tins of tomato paste I usually buy. I didn’t notice before a metallic taste before, but after tasting this tomato paste I don’t think I can go back to the little metal cans! I highly recommend the paste, and a little goes a long way.

I tried out the tomato paste in the recipe below; it’s crazy easy, quick, and a perfect weeknight meal after a long, hectic day.

Tomato Sauce For One Recipe:
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. water (use to thin sauce to desired consistency)

Shrimp Veggie Pasta Recipe:
1 package shirataki noodles (or one serving regular pasta)
6-9 frozen shrimp
1 cup roasted veggies of choice (I used eggplant and broccoli)

1. Place shrimp on the stove over medium heat with a few tablespoons of water or olive oil for a crispier finish. Watch and stir until thoroughly cooked (about 4-7 minutes).
2. Prepare pasta following package directions (directions vary by brand and type of pasta).
3. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir well.
4. Heat sauce in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds or until hot.
5. Once noodles are prepared, add sauce, shrimp, and veggies and stir well.
6. Enjoy! (Optional: garnish with basil and feel fancy)

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This recipe for one is making me miss family dinners at home already. I recently moved back to college in Atlanta and will start having more single-serving recipes again! Although being a part from family and loved ones is always hard, making recipes that capture the flavors of home certainly help ease the homesickness!

Do you have any quick, easy pasta recipes? Do you prefer a certain type of pasta? What flavors remind you of home?